In 2023, China, Europe, and the US each achieved record solar installations, with China leading at 180-230 gigawatts, and Europe growing by 40% from the previous year to 58 gigawatts. Solar energy, now the most affordable electricity source in many countries, saw a significant price drop in Europe, making solar panels more accessible than ever. Solar is poised to overtake hydropower in capacity, though not in electricity production due to hydropower’s continuous generation capability.
The US saw major solar growth, especially in California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona. Wind energy also had a banner year, with global additions capable of powering 80 million homes, predominantly in China, which is set to exceed its 2030 solar and wind capacity targets early. Other countries like Germany and India also contributed to wind energy expansion.
2023 was pivotal for battery technology due to the surge in electric vehicle sales, with one in five cars sold being electric. The US invested over $43.4 billion in battery manufacturing and recycling, spurred by the Inflation Reduction Act, aiming to compete with Europe and China. Both the US and Europe are expanding their gigafactory counts, while China leads with 295 planned factories. Efforts to develop less harmful batteries and improve recycling are ongoing.
Moreover, the emerging technology of ‘247 Energy’s supercapacitor energy storage‘ is gaining attention for its significant advantages over traditional lithium-ion batteries, including being non-flammable, charging 20 times faster, and offering 3-4 times the lifespan. This innovation is poised for explosive growth, further transforming the energy storage landscape.